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Affects  of  the  media

Personal opinion by Sean Weeks

            Whether we’re at home, at school, or driving to work, the media surrounds us. It is becoming impossible to avoid. It is time we come to realize that the media has a very negative affect on all of us. Whether we are only one year old or have already retired, the media is very dangerous. Violence in television programs and movies is harmful for many fundamental psychological reasons. The lack of responsibility these days on the part the broadcaster has a critical affect on society today!

            For the first time in history, the nation's top medical societies all agree there is a negative causal connection between violent programming and aggression in children. Four of the nation's most prestigious medical associations - the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the American Medical Association, issued a joint statement on media violence and children at a recent Capitol Hill summit.

“There should be no more debate about this issue,” said Eric Hotmire, Brownback spokesman. “Violent entertainment affects children in a negative way.” More than 1,000 studies have been conducted on the effects of violence on children and have all concluded with the same results. Violence is extremely bad for our mental health.

“Before a child reaches the age of 18, the average child will witness more than 200,000 acts of violence and 16,000 murders on television!" reports Dr. J. Edward Hill, of the American Medical Association.

Not only is the media constantly bombarding our fragile minds, but it is continuing to increase in quantity, and the content is steadily worsening. This causes the media to more greatly affect an increasingly larger number of people. Over the past ten years, there has been a significant increase in the amount of bad scenes on television.


·        On a per-hour basis, sexual content more than tripled.

·        Material in the sexual subcategories was more than seven times as frequent.

·        Foul language was more than five and a half times as frequent

·        And the most dramatic increase was in homosexual references, which were more than twenty-four times as common!

·        One show, UPN's WWF Smackdown! , was responsible for more than 11 per cent of all the combined sex, cursing, and violence in 1999


            If this increase continues, the affect of media on the population will continue to do what it's done for the past century. It will continually rot our minds until we can think of and remember nothing but the last pornography scene on television! Eventually, crime and violence will no longer have an affect on us. There is only one direction this world will go in - Anarchy!

            Television, radio, the Internet, and other forms of media were invented for a purpose. Their invention was to facilitate the transfer of information from one place to another. They were definitely NOT designed to change our moral values and replace them by promoting explicit scenes, violence, obscene language, nudity, homosexuality, materialism, and others still yet to come.

            Violence is what people thrive on. Those who watch it often usually just start liking it more and become “immune” to it. This causes us to want more. It is for this exact reason that media broadcasters show it! They know deep down inside we want to see it, so they'll make tons of money by showing it. The amount of money they make is usually their biggest concern. The affect their broadcasts will have on our society is barely even cared about, and bad shows are often even supported by taxpayer’s dollars!

            Media coverage is really getting out of control. Live coverage of gruesome accidents and crime are not uncommon - even interrupting children's cartoons. Is this kind of coverage going to affect us? Of course it will!

            One of the local television news stations in Virginia chose to do a feature on the widespread crime of car jacking after a couple of cars supposedly were car jacked. In the report, the news anchor reported extensive details documenting how characters steal cars. The show affected the viewers so much that, the week after the story aired, the number of car jackings shot up in the area! Although the local television station was hoping to increase awareness of the problem, they, in fact, gave criminals a sure-fire recipe for success.

            Over the past few years, a new type of media has arisen - the Internet. Indeed, the Internet is a vast source for information. But is it really information that we need? Is it the result of a lack of information that parents will get divorced? Is it because of a lack of information that causes a building to burn down? No! Of course it isn't. Almost everything happens from judgements based on morality and wisdom, which is exactly what the media mocks! Perhaps we should consider that, in both society and schools, there is too much information. This does not promote pure knowledge, just affects us by increasing confusion.

            Even though the Internet may be good for chatting, the Internet has been proven to affect people negatively, inflicting them with symptoms of social isolation, such as depression and loneliness. This is because people will replace time normally spent with other living people, to type messages into a keyboard.


            The newspaper can affect us in negative ways also. On the front page of the Washington Post was an article about the drug Ritalin. You would expect the article to talk about the dangers of the drug but did it? No! Instead the article explicitly described the step-by-step process of how a student could sell Ritalin to his classmates. The article told the reader, who could be a teen-age Ritalin user, all the places he could find the drug. The article even said “those who never considered Ritalin might have a black market value, may realize the drug is in demand; and could help with their cash flow problems!”


In conclusion, the mass media of television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and the Internet are causing major damage and negative affects on our fragile and toppling society. The media affects us so much it will deteriorate our reasoning and our ability to discern for ourselves. This can only lead us to understand that the media indeed has a very dangerous affect on each on of us. 


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